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Irene Medrano Escobar
Jan 25, 2021   12:21 PM

Irene Medrano Escobar, 65, of Ballinger, passed away Thursday, January 21, 2021 at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas.

She was born on November 30, 1955, to Cruz Gonzales and Juanita Medrano in Ballinger, Texas. She married the love of her life, Ismael Escobar on December 31, 1979, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rowena, Texas. Irene was incredibly artistic, she hand crafted many beautiful things including bracelets and home made rosaries. She enjoyed watching the hummingbirds that she fed regularly, but above all she loved her grandchildren and family. She was also a member of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ballinger.

Irene is preceded in death by her parents Cruz and Juanita Medrano, and her sisters Paula Mata and Lucy Pena.

She is survived by her husband Ismael, her son Michael Escobar and wife Vanessa of San Angelo, her daughter Joanna Escobar of Frisco, Tx, her sisters Alice Rodriguez and Deena King, and her brother Cruz Pena Jr. Irene will be missed most of all by her loving grandchildren Xavier, Miah, Brehnyn, Layla, and Jacob.

A rosary will be said for Irene at 6:00 pm at the chapel at Lange Funeral Home on Sunday, January 24, 2021 with her Mass of Christian Burial to follow on Monday, January 25, 2021 at 10:00 am at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ballinger. Father Ariel Lagunilla will celebrate the mass.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to _____________________ in Irene’s name.

Guests may register online at ballingerfuneralhome.com

Emma Lou Cowlishaw Smith
Jan 25, 2021   12:20 PM

Emma Lou Cowlishaw Smith peacefully passed away at her home Saturday morning. She was the first of seven children born to Herbert Cowlishaw and Marie Killingsworth; she was born August 17, 1933, in Ballinger.

She married Clovis Vernon Smith on February 27, 1953, in Ballinger, and they were blessed with four children, 5 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. Clovis and Emma both struggled through life first on a farm, and later losing their home to a fire. But through all of their hardships, they worked hard and provided for their family, and never gave up on the Lord Jesus. They were faithful members of Seventh Street Baptist Church of Ballinger until their health declined. At that point, they continued to listen to church services on the radio.

Emma was most known throughout the community because of her job at the Runnels County clerk's office where she worked until her retirement. When she was younger she had ambitions of becoming a nurse, but God had other plans, which she never questioned.

Her life and memories will forever be cherished and remembered by her children – Debra and husband Alan Watts of Ballinger; Larry and wife Sharon Smith of Ballinger; Cynthia and husband Lyndon Preas of San Angelo; and Edwin and wife Lara Smith of San Angelo – her 5 grandchildren – Jeremy Watts, Amanda Preas Hofer, Marshall Preas, Krystal Smith Ostdiek and Emily Smith Vlcek – and her 6 great-grandchildren – Aerial Watts, Emma and John Hofer, Harper and Thomas Preas, and Kylee Ostdiek. Emma also leaves behind 3 remaining siblings, brother Jim and wife Betty Cowlishaw, and sisters Ruby and husband Charles Wearden, and Martha and husband Charles Carter, and sister-in-law Sue Cowlishaw Gillar, and brother-in-law Fred Lippe. Additionally, there's a long list of nieces, nephews, and friends whose lives will forever be changed by Emma's presence on this earth.

Emma was preceded in death by her loving husband of 58 years, Clovis; her parents; her brother Tom Cowlishaw; and two sisters, Betty Moser and Judy Lippe.

Emma's greatest joys were her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. She was a wonderful cook, baker, and candy maker who loved life, loved her family, loved the Lord, and will forever be missed.

There will be a short visitation at Lange Funeral Home Monday the 25th from 1-2 pm followed by graveside services at Old Ballinger Cemetery at 3 pm.

The family would like to thank all of the staff and nurses at Ballinger Home Health for the many years of care and support, along with Emma's favorite aid, Cynthia who had assisted her for almost 13 years.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of San Angelo.

Dolly Elizabeth Airhart
Jan 23, 2021   02:13 PM

Dolly Elizabeth Airhart, 91, of Winters, Texas, passed away January 10, 2021. Remembered for her sweet spirit, Dolly's soul was one of the kindest and gentlest to walk this earth.

She was born October 6, 1929, near Huntsville, Alabama, to James and Nola Hollandsworth. The second youngest of 13 kids, Dolly learned from a young age the importance of working together as a family. Her father always kept a garden, and as the older kids worked in the fields, Dolly mastered the ability to prepare wonderful meals using the simplest ingredients. This contribution to her childhood family became a gift that would nourish countless friends and family throughout her life.

When Dolly was around ten years old, her entire family made the long journey to Texas in two pick-up trucks. The youngest children rode under a makeshift camper in the back of one of the trucks, and meals were cooked by older brothers at the roadside. Only a little worse for the wear, they arrived on a farm in Martin County that would become the family home, and Dolly attended a country school where she met a cute boy from a neighboring farm, Bobby Airhart. They grew sweet on each other, dating throughout high school.

After graduating from Flower Grove High School, Bobby went to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech while Dolly studied business at Draughon's Business College in Abilene. Upon completion of their studies, Bobby and Dolly were married on Christmas Eve in 1950, beginning seven decades together in farming, horticulture and landscaping, and banking. Their journey together took them from Martin County to Big Spring, Muleshoe, Sundown, Amarillo, Brownwood, and eventually Runnels County, where they poured their hearts into community banking.

Dolly was a talented watercolorist, and her work is currently displayed at the Security State Bank locations in both Winters and Buffalo Gap. She also shared her gifts of hospitality and service freely with her community and was instrumental in establishing the Winters Woman's Club, serving as the first president. Additionally, Dolly enjoyed her role in the family business, serving as a director of the Security State Bank until the time of her death.

Her life was a living example of a favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 4:32 -- "And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ." She taught her grandchildren to always tell the truth, to show compassion through love and service to others, and to always work hard and do their best.

Dolly is survived by her husband of 70 years, Bobby; her children, Marci and Mike McDonald, and Paul and Becky Airhart; grandchildren, Leslie McDonald, Casey McDonald, Jared Airhart, Kinsey Airhart, and Kellyn Airhart Lesch; and four great-grandchildren. All of these she loved and touched deeply.

Services will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at the First United Methodist Church of Winters at 2 p.m.

Cindy Sue Winchester
Jan 23, 2021   12:13 PM

Cindy Sue Winchester, 64, of Ballinger, Texas, passed away peacefully at her home with her loving husband on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

Cindy was born on September 13, 1956 in Dallas, Texas. After graduating from High School, she went on to work as a sales clerk. On September 15, 1998, she married the love of her life Charles Winchester. They were married by Pastor Winfred at Charles’ mother’s house. Together they shared 22 years of blissful marriage. Together they were members of First Christian Church.

She is preceded in death by her adopted parents, her father-in-law Floyd Geeslin, and her sweet dalmatian that she cherished named Bandit.

Cindy is survived by her husband Charles, her daughters Erica Bockover of Chanute, Kansas and Julie Hannah of Dade County, Florida. She is also survived by her sister Linda Wimberly of Waco, Texas and her beloved chihuahua Abby.

Due to the current COVID crisis a memorial service for Cindy will be held at a later date at First Christian Church.

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